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The Periodkallunch: Very Tasty

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For a relatively sniall cily tast wilting into suburbia, Ann Atbor is uniquely blessed with a lush bouquet of local cultural happenings and enterprise6 which a large sector of the inhabitants feel deeply are "our own." Ann Arbor has also given birth to a magazine that is so inventive, so whimsically imagínative, and so graphically magnitïcent that it deserves to join the constellation of other local stars, and be acclaimed as "our own." This gem of a magazine is the Pcriodical Lunch, now on sale at bookstores and magazine stands. Produced by a gypsy's wagonload of lyric poets, fictionists, and graphical wizards from a lofty, sky-lit lair on Liberty Lane, the Lunch is the tastiest meal now available hereabouts for a buck. Lunch is like good jazz: lots of things happening at once, all of them fascinating. But, enougli of these laudatory generalities, let's get specific. First, the PeriodiCal Lunik is a native intelligente, poking al Ufe, and nudging us all to giggle along. The magazine focuses on Aun Albor, like, say. the Jefferson Airplant.1 focuses on San Francisco, but like the band. the Lunch is nol locally delimited it generalizes experience like all top notch art or literature. Your friends from Tahachapi to Tonopah wil] delight in Lunch as mucli as you wilt. For instance, Peter Anderson's delicious omelette, "The üemolition Ball" opens: "When my bedsheet became the holy ghost, I downed a shot at the local and picked up Queenie who'd just got out of St. Joe's with an IUD infection but looked ready to rock. She slipped into the carrot and we headed to the Ball to cop some jams with Mixed Bag." All the writing in Lunch is packed thick with vivid images, crazy images, surreal slivers polished perfect. Anybody can toss off a decent phrase now and then, but the Luncheteers vacuüm pack their pages with imagination, economical wit, and lots of fun. The fact that a local landmark like St. Joe's, or a local band like Mixed Bag is mentioned above adds a dimensión of concrete recognition for us lucky locals, but in no way blunts the wackiness of this prose for anyone anywhere. Lunch uses the physical reality of Ann Arbor like a springboard, and from off these pot-holed streets, launches itself into a frenzy of inventive hallucination. All the writing in Lunch is marvelous but I cannot resist turning you on to pieces specifically. Forinstance, Editor Warren Hecht's jungle adventure about insulating the attic will rock your socks off. Every Lunch contains a nugget of organizational commentary, a port hole into the process of publishing the mag, titled, "Are You Enjoying Your Lunch, Darling," by publisher and local janitor, Andrew Rock. The latest concerns a playwright, Kid Talent, a well perforated dart board, and great visions of meeting Bob Dylan, along with an epigram that sums up the magie approach of the Lunch Bunch: "Publish what will please long and please many." Belita Cowan, of her-self, introduces a new and timely contraceptive device, the IPD, or intra-penal device. Of the 763 unsuspecting men into whom this gadget was implanted, only 2 died of scrotal infection, only 20 experienced swelling (though this usually subsided within a year), and only 13 were too depressed to have anerection. So, guys, get yours today! See the ad on thu back cover for details . . . The Lunch makes a subtle but sure point of blurring the boundary between trutli and tïction. You're always wondering: Can this be reaP. Am I crazy, or are they? Henee the intra-penal device, the coordinated back cover advertisement for the "Umbrelly," and another ad, by a group called Women Against the Pili (WAP) in favor of vasectomy. (Don't miss _ the tiny but brilliant WAP logo at the bottom of the ad.) Previous Lunches have all been wrapped in plastic and unbound. This allowed families like mine to pass pages around the old commune, and-to pin up drawings and poems. Number 5 is the first bound Lunch ("Bound for success!" the publisher toasts in "Are You Enjoying Your Lunch, Darling?"), and this allows the incorporation of longer pieces like the newly instituted Reader Feature, this time, "Snake" by Karen Snow. Ms. Snow is the wife of a CIA agent who writes about a woman who is the wife of a CIA agent. The graphics that pepper eacli Lunch are far more than simply visual seasoning shaken onto the fiction or poetry. Penned by a surprising diversity af mostly female local artists, the graphics are works of art in their own riglit, and take off from the textsthey accompany into tantalizing rCalms oí their own. Periodical Lunch is the creative product of both men and women, however, the current number is, in many ways, a feminist issue. A large proportion of the pieces are by and about women - in many moods, from many perspectives. Read Julie Jensen's perceptions about adolescent girls and Love Comics, or Lou Robinson's haunting "Conversations with the Cat and the Medium," or Gloria Dyc's dream landscape "Heat." And poetry by Karen Boyle and Naomi Shihab shines with a lusterous eye. Lunch contains snappy pickles and relishes as well, little extra morsels rarely included in the run-of-the-offset literary magazine, wliich set Lunch apart, and transform it into "An Illustrated Chronicle." The Perspective Pagefocuses on the planned renovation of the Earl Hotel, a rare (fot Ann Arbor) combination of imagina t ion and humanism. The "Lunch Recipe" features Van Winkle's stew (serves 6). And the catalogue of discontinued Post Offices, including such far flung hamlet s us: Peepee, Ohio: Buzzard's Crötch, Ajizona; Intercoursè, Pa; Smut Eye, Alabama; New York City, and of course, A-square, Michigan, will keep you chortling through several rereadings. $o, piek up a Lunch, dig in, and munch. It's the crunchiest conglomeration of home grown talent and imagination since old Annie Arbor named herself after this place way back in the Forbidden Epoch before televisión. At home in our cliilly hovel, we like to perch each Lunch in a place of honor on a table by the throne in the bathroom, where it's handy for the rereadings it richly deserves, and where the time it takes to peruse a selection is the rough equivalent of the time it ordinarily takes. I could slip in a joke here about Lunch's fledgling subsidiary The Silent But Deadly Press, whose books have been hailed as "a real gas" by B.F. Skinner, but good taste, not to mention my sensitive nostrils, forbids . . . In any event, do buy a Periodical Lunch. It's Ann Arbor's own invention, and it is terrific. To borrow from Anselm Hollo's swirling poem titled "In the Tin Can Mirror," Lunch is like "this herd of cows [that] keeps mooing fiercely in my head." I guarantee you'll enjoy it, or doublé your asparagus back.